Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Ebelhar, Founder of Jessica Ebelhar Photography, located in Louisville, KY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a commercial photographer specializing in high-end still-life and portrait work. I love creating bold, colorful imagery for forward-thinking brands and companies.
Tell us about yourself
Before I was a commercial photographer, I was a photojournalist and covered myriad subjects – breaking news, politics, sports – you name it. After several years in the field (and thousands of assignments), I realized that I was actually a visual artist — and not a journalist — at heart. Journalism is vitally important, I realized that it is best left to those for whom it's a true vocation, and for me, it wasn't. After discovering this, I left a full-time job to start my business and never looked back. I've always loved the visual arts, and I feel incredibly fortunate that I get to use my passion to create and problem-solve for clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I don't necessarily have one accomplishment that I'd count as the biggest – it's been a series of small successes that have built upon each other. That being said, I'm really grateful that I was able to go from having little experience and no connections in the field to working with major brands regularly.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There's a certain amount of volatility that comes with being a business owner. No two days are ever alike, and business owners have to be resourceful, flexible, and adaptable – all while delivering a seamless experience for the client. When speaking to students or folks who are just starting out, I tell them that I'm a photographer but that my ultimate role is that of problem solver.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- There truly is no perfect time to start your own business, and you're the only one who knows if you have the passion and drive to make it work. If you have the interest and ability, go for it!
- Always provide the absolute best product or service possible for your clients. It's just the right thing to do, and an excellent product and customer experience is the best way to ensure future business.
- Take care of yourself, and establish boundaries – this will make your work sustainable in the long run.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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